Monday, September 21, 2009

KELLY HOLMES









Kelly Holmes (born: April 19, 1970) is a British middle distance athlete. Regarded as the best female middle distance runner Great Britain has ever produced, she won gold medals in the 800 meters and the 1,500 meters at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Early life and army career.

Holmes was born in Pembury, Kent, the mixed-race daughter of Derrick Holmes, Jamaican-born car mechanic, and an English mother, Pam Norman. Her mother, only 18 at the time of Kelly’s birth, would marry painter and decorator Michael Norris two years later, whom Kelly regards as her father, and they had four children together before divorcing. She grew up in Hildenborough and attended Hugh Christie Comprehensive School in Tonbridge, one of the only black children on her estate.

Holmes starting training for athletics aged 12, joining Tonbridge Athletics Club, where she was coached by David Arnold and went on to win the national schools’ 1500 metres in her second season. Her hero was British middle distance runner Sebastian Coe, and she was inspired by Coe’s succesful 1984 Summer Olympics defence of his 1,500m crown. However, Holmes later turned her back on athletics, joining the British Army at the age of 18, having left school two years earlier, working initially as a recreation assistant and later as a nursing assistant.

In the army she was initially a lorry driver in the Women’s Royal Auxiliary Corp, later transferring to the Adjutants General Corps as a physical trainer, reaching the rank of sergeant. She also became British Army judo champion, and in army athletics events once competed in the men’s 800 metres at a meeting, as it was considered that for her to run in the women’s event would be too embarrassing for the other competitors. At another event, she competed in and won an 800 metres, a 3000 metres and a relay race all in a single day.

Holmes watched the 1992 Summer Olympics on television, and seeing Lisa York in the heats of the 3,000 metres, an athlete whom she had competed against, and beaten, decided to return to athletics. For several years she combined both athletics and her employment in the army until increased funding allowed her to become a full-time athlete in 1997.



Initial athletics career
She won the national 800m in 1993 and the 1500m in 1994. She won gold at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in the 1500 metres, competing for England. (Unlike in other international competitions such as the Olympics and World & European Championships, in the Commonwealth Games the British countries compete separately).

Holmes has suffered setbacks caused by injuries. In 1996, she suffered a stress fracture and finished fourth in the Atlanta Olympics. In 1997, a slightly torn calf in training resulted in a ruptured achilles tendon which ended her in Athens World Championships in the heats, hobbling home half a lap behind her competitors.

Going into the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia on the back of just six weeks’ intensive training because of a virus, she finished third in the 800m. The winner of that race, Maria Mutola of Mozambique would later become her training partner, as Holmes moved to Africa to train and live with her.


2004 Summer Olympics
2004 saw Holmes arrive at a major competition, the Athens Olympics, with no injury worries for just about the first time in her career. She had originally planned to compete in just the 1,500 m but a victory over Jolanda Ceplak before the games had many saying she should take her chance in the 800 as well. Holmes did not announce her decision to race in both events until five days before the 800m finals.

Along with three time world champion Mutola and Ceplak, Holmes was considered one of the favourites for the gold medal in the 800m. In the final, Holmes ran a well-paced race, ignoring a fast start by a number of the other competitors, and moved into the lead ahead of Mutola on the final bend, taking the gold on the line ahead of Hasna Benhassi and Ceplak, with Mutola in fourth. Holmes became the seventh British woman to win an athletics gold, and the second after Ann Packer in 1964 to win the 800 metres.

Clearly in form, Holmes now became favourite for the her preferred event, the 1,500 metres on the 28 August. Her most difficult task now was maintaining her focus – she later revealed how after waking each morning she had put her medal on and cried.

Again running from the rear of the field, she took the lead in the final straight, holding off World Champion Tatyana Tomashova of Russia. She thus became only the third woman in history to do the 800 and 1500m double, after Tatyana Kazankina of the Soviet Union in 1976 and Svetlana Masterkova of Russia in 1996, the first British woman to win two olympic gold medals, and the country’s first double gold medallist at the same games since Albert Hill in 1920. Her time of 3 minutes 57.90 seconds in the 1500m final also set a new British record for the distance.

Subsequently, Holmes was given the honour of carrying the British flag at the closing ceremony of the games, on August 29, the day after her second victory. A home-coming parade was held in her honour through the streets of Hildenborough and Tonbridge on September 1, which was attended by approximately 40,000 people – more than double the size of crowds at the parade through London for all the Olympic medallists. She is also odds-on favourite to take the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December 2004.

JACK ROOSEVELT ROBINSON






JACK ROBINSON
Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) became the first African American Major League Baseball player of the modern era in 1947. Robinson’s achievement has been recognized by the retirement by each Major League team of his uniform number, 42.
Contents
1 Before the Major League
2 The Dodgers
3 Post Dodgers
Before the Major League
Born in Cairo, Georgia, Robinson moved with his mother and siblings to Pasadena, California in 1920, after his father deserted the family. At the University of California, Los Angeles, he was a football, basketball, track, and baseball star where he played with Kenny Washington, who would become one of the first black players in the National Football League since the early 1930s. His brother Matthew “Mack” Robinson (1912-2000) competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics, finishing second in the 200-meter sprint behind Jesse Owens.
After leaving UCLA without a degree in 1942, Robinson enlisted in the US Army during World War II. He trained with the segregated U.S. 761st Tank Battalion. Initially refused entry to Officer Candidate School, he fought for it and eventually was accepted, graduating as a second lieutenant. While training at Fort Hood, Texas, Robinson refused to go to the back of a bus, knowing that the practice had recently been outlawed on military vehicles. He was court-martialed for insubordination, and never shipped out to Europe with his unit. He received an honorable discharge in 1944, after being exonerated at a trial with all charges dismissed.
Jackie played baseball in 1944 for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro American League where he caught the eye of Clyde Sukeforth, a scout working for Branch Rickey.
The Dodgers
Branch Rickey was the club president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and had the secret goal of signing the Negro Leagues’ top players to the team. Although there was no official ban on blacks in organized baseball, previous attempts at signing black ballplayers had been thwarted by league officials and rival clubs in the past, and so Rickey operated undercover. His scouts were told that they were seeking players for a new all-black league Rickey was forming; not even the scouts knew his true objective.
Robinson’s debut at first base with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947 (he batted 0 for 3) was one of the most eagerly-awaited events in baseball history, and one of the most profound in the history of the U.S. civil rights movement. Although he played his entire rookie year at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a second baseman. He also played many games at third base and in the outfield.
During that first season, the abuse to which Robinson was subjected made him come close to losing his patience more than once. During the season, Robinson experienced considerable harassment from both players and fans. The Philadelphia Phillies – encouraged by manager Ben Chapman- were particularly abusive. In their April 22 game against the Dodgers, they barracked him continually, calling him a “nigger” from the bench, telling him to “go back to the jungle.” Rickey would later recall that “Chapman did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers.
When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united 30 men.” Baseball Commissioner Albert “Happy” Chandler admonished the Phillies but asked Robinson to pose for photographs with Chapman as a conciliatory gesture. Robinson didn’t refuse, but the ensuing session was likely difficult for both participants.
Robinson was awarded the Rookie of the Year award in 1947, and the Most Valuable Player award for the National League in 1949. He not only contributed to Brooklyn pennants in both years, but his determination and hustle kept the Dodgers in pennant races in 1950 and 1951 when they might otherwise have been eliminated much sooner.
Robinson’s Major League career was fairly short. He did not enter the majors until he was 28, was often injured as he aged, and he retired at age 37. But in his prime, he was respected by every opposing team in the league.
Robinson was an exceptionally talented and disciplined hitter, with a career average of .311 and substantially more walks than strikeouts. He played several defensive positions extremely well and was the most aggressive and successful baserunner of his era; he was among the few players to “steal home” frequently
By his talent and physical presence, he disrupted the concentration of pitchers, catchers and middle infielders. Robinson’s overall talent was such that he is often cited as among the best players of his era. It is also frequently claimed that Robinson was one of the most intelligent baseball players ever, a claim that is well supported by his home plate discipline and defensive prowess.
Robinson retired from the game on January 5, 1957. He had wanted to manage or coach in the major leagues, but received no offers. He became a vice-president for the Chock Full O’ Nuts Corporation instead, and served on the board of the NAACP till 1967, when he resigned because of the movement’s lack of younger voices. In 1960, he involved himself in the presidential election, campaigning first for Hubert Humphrey, and then meeting both Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy: citing his record on Civil Rights, Robinson supported Nixon. After Nixon was elected in 1968, Robinson wrote that he regretted the endorsement. He campaigned diligently for Humphrey in 1968.
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility, becoming the first African-American so honored. On June 4, 1972 the Dodgers retired his uniform number 42 alongside Roy Campanella (39) and Sandy Koufax (32).
Robinson made his final public appearance on October 14, 1972 before Game 2 of the World Series in Cincinnati.
Robinson’s final few years were marked by tragedy. In 1971, his elder son, Jackie, Jr., was killed in an automobile accident.
Also, the diabetes that plagued him in middle age had left him virtually blind and contributed to his severe heart troubles. Jackie Robinson died in Stamford, Connecticut on October 24, 1972 and was interred in the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. For details,
In 1997 (the 50th anniversary of his major league debut), his number (42) was retired from all MLB teams. In 2004, Major League Baseball designated that April 15 each year would be marked as “Jackie Robinson Day” in all their ballparks.
On October 29, 2003, the United States Congress posthumously awarded Robinson the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award the Congress can bestow. Robinson’s widow accepted the award in a ceremony in the Capital Rotunda on March 2, 2005.

MUHAMMED ALI









Muhammad Ali three times World heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali (or Cassius Clay) who wrote his name in the history of boxing.

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. popularly known as ‘Muhammad Ali’, was a boxer, who literally slaughtered any competitor he met in the boxing ring and was the worst nightmare for almost every one he had boxing match with, was born to Cassius Sr. and Odessa on January 17 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky.

From his childhood, Cassius had a dream of becoming a heavyweight champion. But had no idea that his boxing career will start in an unexpected way. In an incidence his bike was stolen at the Columbia Auditorium (in 1954). Twelve years old Cassius and his friends were at the Auditorium when he came to know that his bike was stolen, Cassius was so angry that he told the policeman (Mr. Martin, who was handling bike theft case) that he would never leave the person who stole his bike and would beat him. Understanding the situation, the policeman warned Cassius that he was too young to fight the thief and told him to prepare well and learn boxing before breaking down on the thief. The policeman even suggested one good boxing trainer’s name ‘Fred Stoner’ to young Cassius, so that at least this boy wouldn’t go on a search for the person who stole his bike.

Cassius was so serious about getting into boxing and had prepared himself so that he joined the training with Fred Stoner. He prepared himself so well that within few weeks; he was ready for his first professional boxing match and also showed his talent. Further, for about six years, Cassius registered consecutive wins in the Kentucky Golden Gloves Championships every year. He also won two ‘Amateur Athletic Union Championship’ titles and two ‘National Golden Gloves Championship’ boxing titles during this period. With all this and his determination, Cassius made it sure that he was one of the possible and high-flying contenders of the future world championship.

Boxer, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. As an amateur boxer (1954–60), winning 100 of 108 matches, he became the 1960 Olympic light-heavyweight champion. Financed by a group of Louisville businessmen, he turned professional, and by 1963 had won his first 19 fights. He won the world heavyweight title in 1964, defeating the purportedly invincible Sonny Liston when he retired at the end of the sixth round.

At that time he joined the Black Muslims and adopted the name Muhammad Ali. After defending the championship nine times within two years, in 1967 he refused to be drafted into the army on religious grounds, and was stripped of his title and barred from the ring. His action earned him both respect and anger from different quarters, but he did not box for three-and-a-half years; he took his case to the Supreme Court and had his boxing licence restored in 1970. In 1971 he was beaten by Joe Frazier, but beat him in 1974 in Zaire, and went on to meet George Foreman later that year, knocking him out in eight rounds to regain his title. He was beaten by Leon Spinks in a split decision (Feb 1978), but regained the title the same year – the first man to win the world heavyweight title three times.

Famous for his flamboyant manner, his boasting predictions of which round he would defeat his opponent, and his doggerel verse (‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’), he was also recognized as one of the all-time great boxers with his quick jab and footwork. His slogan ‘I am the greatest’ became a catch phrase. He compiled a career record of 56 wins, five losses, with 37 knockouts, before retiring in 1981.

During the 1960s and 1970s he was arguably the best-known individual in the entire world due not only to his controversial career but also to his travels and deliberate reaching out to the Third World. Ali was President Carter’s special envoy to Africa in 1980 (attempting to persuade nations to boycott the Olympics). He has starred in two films, The Greatest (1976) and Freedom Road (1978), and an Oscar-winning documentary film, When We Were Kings, recounting the 1974 Ali v. Foreman fight, appeared in 1996. Ali retired in 1981, and during that decade it was revealed that he was suffering from a form of Parkinson’s disease. He was an almost universal choice as the 20th-century’s most important sportsman, and at the end of 1999 was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Century. In 2005 he attended the opening of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY, and also that year was honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

ALTHEA GIBSON








ALTHEA GIBSON

Althea Gibson was born in August 25th 1927; she was the first woman to play tennis for the United States of America.

The legendary ALTHEA GIBSON, became the first Black person (male or female) to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament after winning the French Open singles title in 1956, later won back-to-back Wimbledon singles titles in 1957 and 1958.

Also in '57 and '58, she won back-to-back United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) national singles championships.

Her career also included several doubles championships, most notably the Wimbledon women's doubles in '57 and '58 and USLTA mixed doubles in '57. Gibson retired from amateur tennis in 1958 and launched another pioneering effort in 1964 when she began her professional golf career and joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

Gibson won the ATA women's singles tournament ten years in a row, 1947 through 1956.

In retirement, Gibson wrote her autobiography and in 1959 recorded an album, Althea Gibson Sings, as well as appearing in the motion picture, The Horse Soldiers. In 1964, she became the first African-American woman to play in the Ladies Professional Golf Association. However, she was too old to be successful and only played for a few years.

HOUNOURS
• 1971 - National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame
• 1971 - International Tennis Hall of Fame
• 1974 - Black Athletes Hall of Fame
• 1983 - South Carolina Hall of Fame
• 1984 - Florida Sports Hall of Fame

SELECTED ALTHEA GIBSON QUOTATIONS
• I hope that I have accomplished just one thing: that I have been a credit to tennis and my country.

• I want the public to remember me as they knew me: athletic, smart, and healthy.... Remember me strong and tough and quick, fleet of foot and tenacious.

• I always wanted to be somebody. If I made it, it's half because I was game enough to take a lot of punishment along the way and half because there were a lot of people who cared enough to help me.

• I don't want to be put on a pedestal. I just want to be reasonably successful and live a normal life with all the conveniences to make it so. I think I've already got the main thing I've always wanted, which is to be somebody, to have identity. I'm Althea Gibson, the tennis champion. I hope it makes me happy.

• No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.

• In the field of sports you are more or less accepted for what you do rather than what you are.

• I knew that I was an unusual, talented girl through the grace of God. I didn't need to prove that to myself. I only wanted to prove it to my opponents.

• In sports, you simply aren't considered a real champion until you have defended your title successfully. Winning it once can be a fluke; winning it twice proves you are the best.

• Most of us who aspire to be tops in our fields don't really consider the amount of work required to stay tops.

• People thought I was ruthless, which I was. I didn't give a darn who was on the other side of the net. I'd knock you down if you got in my way.

• I just wanted to play, play, and play.

• I was born too soon.

GLORIOUS END
She suffered two cerebral aneurysms and a stroke.

Tennis players made no money in the 1950s, and Gibson’s finances worsened over the years. In 1992, she suffered a stroke. A few years later, Gibson called Buxton and told her she was on the brink of suicide. Gibson was living on welfare and unable to pay for rent or medication.

In September 28, 2003, at the age of 76, Gibson died in East Orange, New Jersey due to respiratory failure and was interred there in the Rosedale Cemetery.

She is a 2009 inductee of the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

She already left her footprints on the sands of time…..she can never be forgotten…..she is a hero

LEWIS CARL HAMILTON











LEWIS CARL DAVIDSON HAMILTON
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton was born on the 7th of January 1985 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire; he is a British Formula One racing driver from England.
Hamilton began his car racing career in the 2001 British Formula Renault Winter Series.
According to him, Hamilton's first taste of racing competition came at the controls of radio-controlled cars that His father, Anthony, bought him in 1991.
Hamilton was educated at The John Henry Newman School, a voluntary aided Catholic secondary school in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

DID YOU KNOW THAT?
-He is the youngest black Briton to receive an MBE honors from the Queen of England.

-He was a football/soccer player.

-His parents got separated when he was just two years old

-Due to the fact that Hamilton has said in the past that Ayrton Senna was his hero, some people assumed that his helmet is yellow in honour of him.

-Hamilton is the first driver of black heritage to compete in Formula One (although Willy T. Ribbs tested an F1 car in 1986 and the first driver of black heritage to win a major race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in any discipline.

-He is the third youngest driver to achieve an F1 pole position.
- Lewis Is a writer/Author, he is the author of (My Story) published by Harpersport UK in 2007
-He is the fourteenth F1 driver to achieve a podium finish on his debut.

-During the 2007 European Grand Prix at the N├╝rburgring, Hamilton became the first driver to have his car recovered by a crane and put back on the track during an F1 race, although several drivers have been pushed back onto the circuit by the marshals without mechanical aids when judged to be in a dangerous position, such as Michael Schumacher during the 2003 European Grand Prix. Since then, the FIA have now banned the use of mechanical assistance to help move a car back onto the track.

-Lewis Hamilton's contract for the McLaren driver development program made him the youngest ever driver to secure a contract which later resulted in an F1 drive.

-There is a website that CAMPAIGNS against him…please visit www.lewishamiltonsucks.com

CAREER SUMMARY
Season Series Team Name No. Races Poles Wins Pts Final Placing
2000 World Formula A Championship TeamMBM.com (CRG/Parilla) 1 0 n/a DNF
European Formula A Championship TeamMBM.com (CRG/Parilla) 9 5 75 1st
Formula A World Cup TeamMBM.com (CRG/Parilla) 1 1 n/a 1st
2001 Formula Super A World Championship TeamMBM.com (Parolin/Parilla) 15 10 0 0 28 15th
2002 Formula Renault UK Manor Motorsport 25 13 3 3 274 3rd
2003 Formula Renault UK Manor Motorsport 3 15 11 10 419 1st
2004 Formula Three Euro series Manor Motorsport 35 20 1 1 69 5th
2005 Formula Three Euro series ASM Formula 3 1 20 11 15 172 1st
2006 GP2 Series ART Grand Prix 2 21 1 5 114 1st
2007 Formula One Vodafone McLaren–Mercedes 2 17 6 4 109 2nd
2008 Formula One Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 22 18 7 5 98 1st
2009 - till date Formula One Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1 13 2 1 27 7th*


LEWIS HAMILTON’S PERSONAL DATA
Nationality British
Date of Birth 07/01/85
Place of Birth Stevenage , UK
Height 1.74m
Weight 68kg
Resident UK
Favourite Music R & B, Reggae, Hip-Hop, and Funky House
Hobbies Playing the guitar, music, training
Website www.lewishamilton.com


Formula 1 Statistics
(after 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix)
Grand Prix Debut 2007 Australian GP
Grand Prix Starts 35
Grand Prix Points 207
Grand Prix Wins 9
Pole Positions 13
Fastest Laps 3
Number of Finishes 33
Number of Podiums 22
Number of finishes in Points 29

Number of Doubles
(pole position & win) 7
Number of Trebles
(pole position, win & fastest lap) 2

Sunday, September 20, 2009

KANU CHRISTIAN NWOSU NWANKWO








KANU CHRISTIAN NWOSU NWANKWO
Nwankwo Kanu was born on the 1st August 1976 in Owerri, Nigeria; usually known simply as Kanu and nicknamed Papilo, is a professional footballer who plays as a striker for the NIGERIAN national team and presently for English club PORTSMOUTH.
HIS CAREER
He began his career when he was fifteen years old
Years Club Appearance:
1991–1992 Fed Works club Owerri (unknown fee)

1992–1993 Iwuanyanwu Nationale FC now Heartland (unknown sign on fee)
1993–1996 Ajax AFC (sign on fees €207,047.)
1996–1999 FC Internazionale Milano ($4.7 million ;)
1999–2004 Arsenal FC England (£4.15 million)
2004–2006 West Bromwich Albion
2006– till date Portsmouth FC
He has been constantly appearing on the national team list since 1993, meanwhile he was one of the U23 National team members that won the Gold Medal during the Olympics games in 1996, the squad then was called THE DREAM TEAM
PERSONAL LIFE
He got married to his lover Amarachi Onyeador who happerns to be a niece to Stella Onyeador in Nigeria in July 17th 2004
He is blessed with two boys


DID YOU KNOW THAT?
• In 2008 Kanu was voted 13th in the "Gunners' Greatest 50 Players" poll

• Kanu has a younger brother, Christopher Kanu who happens to be a professional footballer.

• He underwent a heart surgery in November 1996 to replace an aortic valve which led to his founding the Kanu Heart Foundation, an organization that helps predominantly young African children who suffer heart defects. Kanu is known throughout Africa for his philanthropic work.

• He is the first African footballer to have won a UEFA Champions League Medal, a UEFA Cup Medal, Three FA Cup Winners Medals and two African Player of the Year awards amongst others, He is the only current Premier League player to have won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, Premier League, FA Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal

• An 88th-minute equalizer in a 1-1 home draws against Fulham.

• In a match against Middleborough on 14 November 2004, Kanu was guilty of an incredible miss in injury time, with Albion 2-1 down. Kanu had sent a low cross over the bar from a yard away from the goal line. Manager Bryan Robson was seen in TV footage mouthing the words "How did he miss that?", and Kanu's howler was crowned 'Miss of the Season' by many television stations in the end-of-season reviews.

• Kanu is a Philanthropist and a very good listener

• Kanu loves catching fun, he relaxes with his family and go clubbing at times

• Kanu takes liquor moderately

• Kanu’s zodiac sign is leo

• He is the most highly-decorated African Footballer in footballing history.

• He is a UNICEF Ambassador

• Kanu has never earned a yellow/Red card



HONOURS
• 1994 Dutch Eredivisie Winner (Ajax)
• 1995 Dutch Eredivisie Winner (Ajax)
• 1995 Champions League Winner (Ajax)
• 1995 European Super Cup Winner (Ajax)
• 1996 Dutch Eredivisie Winner (Ajax)
• 2000 UEFA Cup Runner-up (Arsenal)
• 2001 FA Cup Runner-up (Arsenal)
• 2002 Premier League Winner (Arsenal)
• 2002 FA Cup Winner (Arsenal)
• 2004 Premier League Winner (Arsenal)
• 2008:: FA Cup Winner (Portsmouth)



Professional Career of Nwankwo Kanu
SEASON CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP EUROPEAN COMPETITIONS CAPS
93-94 Ajax Amsterdam 2 Goals, 6 Games (-)
94-95 Ajax Amsterdam 10 Goals, 18 Games 1 Goals, 7 Games (Champions League)
95-96 Ajax Amsterdam 13 Goals, 29 Games 9 Games (Champions League)
96-97 Inter Milan (-)
97-98 Inter Milan 1 Goals, 11 Games 5 Games (UEFA Cup) 3 Games
98-99 Arsenal 6 Goals, 12 Games (-)
98-99 Inter Milan 1 Games (-)
99-00 Arsenal 12 Goals, 30 Games 2 + 9 Games (Champions League + UEFA Cup) 3 Games
00-01 Arsenal 3 Goals, 27 Games 2 Goals, 14 Games (Champions League) 2 Goals, 5 Games
01-02 Arsenal 3 Goals, 23 Games 9 Games (Champions League) 9 Games
02-03 Arsenal 5 Goals, 16 Games 1 Goals, 8 Games (Champions League)
03-04 Arsenal 1 Goals, 10 Games 7 Games (Champions League)
04-05 West Brom 2 Goals, 27 Games (-)
05-06 West Brom 5 Goals, 25 Games (-)
06-07 Portsmouth 10 Goals, 36 Games (-)
07-08 Portsmouth 4 Goals, 26 Games (-)
08-09 Portsmouth 1 Goals, 17 Games 1 Goals, 5 Games (UEFA Cup)
0 Portsmouth 4 Games (-)

ARTHUR WHARTON





Arthur Wharton

Britain's first black footballer

Arthur Wharton was born in Ghana in 1865; his father was half Grenadian and half Scottish, and his mother was from Ghanaian royalty. In 1882 Arthur moved to England to train as a missionary, but quickly became bored with the academic and religious life and left school to pursue a sporting career.

A talented athlete, he set a new world record for the 100 yard dash (10 seconds) at Stamford Bridge in 1886. This success gave him the opportunity to compete in professional athletics tournaments, where he was able to make a living from appearance fees. His abilities also brought him to the attention of various professional football clubs

He was first signed as a semi professional player with Preston North End in 1886, as goalkeeper. His highpoint with Preston was to make it to the FA Cup semi finals in 1887 where they lost 3-1 to West Bromwich Albion. There was speculation at the time that Arthur was good enough to play for England, but he was never considered for the position by the FA, due in part to the racial prejudice of the time.

He turned fully professional in 1889, when he signed for Rotherham United, and in 1894, Sheffield United poached him. Unfortunately, the move was not a success; he was getting older, and was competing with United's new and younger goalkeeper, Bill "Fatty" Foulke.

Arthur's career then drifted as he moved from club to club to try and make a living. At the same time, he started drinking heavily, and eventually retired from football in 1902. His life after retirement was not happy, and Arthur Wharton died in 1930, a penniless alcoholic who had spent the last 15 years of his life as a colliery haulage hand.

His story was uncovered in 1997 by the Sheffield United based project, "Football Unites Racism Divides". His unmarked grave in Edlington has been given a headstone, and his picture was included in an exhibition of British Sporting Heroes at the National Portrait Gallery.


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